Julia Buech
Julia Büch is a Food and Drink Analyst, specialising in delivering insights on issues affecting the German market, providing analysis across a range of categories.

With previous Mintel research showing the rise of vegetarianism in Germany, it seems that the vegetarian and vegan trend is starting to reach beyond fresh food such as meat or cheese.  Veggie sweets are fast becoming the next “go-to” treat for vegetarians, with 6% of sweets introduced in Germany in 2014 featuring a vegetarian or vegan claim, up from less than 1% in 2011.

Growing number of Germans claim to be vegetarians

Vegetarianism and veganism have never been as popular as they are today. According to Mintel consumer data, approximately 6% of the German population claims to be vegetarian – increasing to about 16% among 16-24 year olds. The most common reasons for vegetarianism and veganism in Germany are an increasing awareness of health, concern for the environment and compassion for animals. But the appeal and potential for vegetarian and vegan products is now expanding to a much larger consumer base who have a more general interest in a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

A third of Germans want clearly labelled veggie sweets

While overt vegetarian or vegan labelling is increasingly easy to find in fresh food aisles in supermarkets, veggie sugar confectionery is far from being “clearly labelled.” Indeed, in the majority of cases references can still only be found in the small print on the back of the pack. This explains why almost a third of German adults and four in ten 16-24 year olds would like to see a wider variety of plainly labelled vegetarian sweets. Clearer labelling is generally in high demand, with half of German adults in favour of a standardised traffic light labelling system for fat, sugar and salt content.

Katjes’ “I love Veggie” sticker leading the way

In the absence of compulsory rules, brands can profit from gaining consumers’ trust by joining the V-labelling scheme or by providing their own front-of-pack, clear ingredient labelling systems. This is especially important as more consumers perceive vegetarian credentials as an indicator of a brand’s overall commitment to the use of quality ingredients.

Katjes veggie sweetsTrolli vegan sweets

Among confectionery brands, Katjes is a pioneer in regards to straight forward labelling, with “I love Veggie” stickers decorating an increasing number of its offerings. ​Competitor Trolli has also jumped on the bandwagon, launching “Bizzl Mix” with a clear yellow “vegan” sign on the front packaging earlier this year.

Julia Buech is Food and Drink Analyst Germany at Mintel. She specialises in delivering insights on issues affecting the German food and drink market, providing analysis across a range of food and drink categories. Previously Trend & Innovation Consultant at Mintel, Julia was responsible for providing tailored product innovation analysis and client support primarily to Mintel’s German speaking clients.